The problems concerning Trafficking in Human Beings and Smuggling of Migrants are of global proportion. Almost every country, including Pakistan, is implicated in this trade in human lives either as a place of recruitment, transit through to other countries, or as the final destination for such people. These issues lie at the very intersection of contemporary anxieties concerning the global political economy, population growth, gender and ethnic stratification, transnational organized crime and human rights abuses and the inability of states, groups of states and international agencies to control any of these effectively.
These problems, coupled with the ever-present systemic dysfunctions of Pakistan’s justice system—bribery, corruption, lack of resources, lack of training, understaffing, lack of access, to name a few—means that even bold and innovative legislative changes can often take decades to implement in actuality.
With this in mind, in February of 2020, RSIL began an initiative aimed at ascertaining the level of understanding amongst justice sector actors of the newly promulgated Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2018 (PTPA), and the Prevention of Smuggling of Migrants Act, 2018 (PSMA), seeking to determine the efficacy of both the PTPA and the PSMA, with the eventual goal being the development of a consensus with all relevant stakeholders on what concrete steps need to be taken to further promote and make effective this area of law. This is to be done through focused consultative sessions with relevant stakeholders, namely the FIA, Provincial Police, Judges, and Prosecutors.
RSIL has conducted a consultative session, held on the 27th of February, 2020 at the Islamabad Police Training School, with representatives from the FIA, Islamabad Police, Punjab Police, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police, and the Ministry of Human Rights. Additional sessions which will include representation from the Judiciary, Prosecution services, and the Human Trafficking Cell of the FIA, are scheduled to be held in the remaining months of 2020.
Team: Jamal Aziz, Oves Anwar, Abraze Aqil, Shayan Ahmed, Mohib Wazir